MICHIGAN CITY - Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City has expanded its footprint with the addition of a new 11,000-square-foot ballroom as it attempts to draw more than gamblers through its front doors.

The $11 million expansion is part of the casino’s Stardust Event Center, according to our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana.

Boyd Gaming, which owns the casino, says it now has 45,000-square-feet of meeting space for conventions, banquets and wedding receptions at the Michigan City site.

"Based on the tremendous demand that we've seen for meeting space at Blue Chip over the last several years, we knew we had a great opportunity to expand our meeting and event business — and now we can meet that opportunity," said Brenda Temple, Blue Chip vice president and general manager.

The paper says the ballroom can be divided into six smaller rooms of approximately 1,500 square feet each. 

Temple says the addition will also help Blue Chip fill its nearly 500 hotel rooms during the week when occupancy is lower.

"This provides us the ability to fill our hotel rooms midweek because people have conventions in the middle of the week; they don't have them on weekends," said Temple.